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Could Lenovo buy RIM?

With Research in Motion failing to innovate and sustain in a growing smartphone market, the Canadian manufacturer is finding it tough to survive. Blackberry isn’t quite dead, but with Android, iOS and Windows Phone capturing the interests of those looking to buy smartphones more than any other operating system it’s clear that a comeback will be as hard to muster up as year-old peanut brittle.

Recent rumors suggest RIM is looking into several options to gain some relevancy, including selling off its hardware business and becoming an OS vendor for other OEMs to license from. Another option seems to be on the table — just sell everything, dammit.

Bloomberg reports that Lenovo, the Chinese OEM with a very strong foothold in the personal computing market, could be looking to flat-out purchase RIM in a bid that would shake the market up considerably. Lenovo would stand to gain the resources it needs to attempt to become a global provider in the mobile sector, but it’s unclear how, exactly, they would use RIM to reach that goal.

I could definitely see Lenovo keeping the RIM boat afloat as the company tries to change its luck with Blackberry 10. Perhaps Lenovo just wants the Blackberry software in order to differentiate itself from the market — after all, when the billion dollar madmen at Samsung have a vice grip on the market using the same operating system you are trying to leverage, it’s tough to stand out.

CFO Wong Wai Ming said Lenovo would “have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.” In other words, if RIM is willing to sell and is happy with the amount of 0′s Lenovo’s willing to stuff onto a check, we could see the next major acquisition take place sometime in the near or distant future.

Of course, Lenovo likely isn’t the only one having conversations with RIM, and it’s hard to imagine that an even bigger player isn’t lurking around the corner waiting to one-up any offer they’re willing to put on the table. Should Blackberry OS fail to gain momentum starting this year then I’d say there’s a very good chance that these talks will commence sooner rather than later.




  • http://twitter.com/amythinking Amritha Alapati

    Failing to innovate? Have you even seen the BB 10? Android boy, wake up.

    • ty

      I smell a troll….

    • DavidVarghese

      Thanks for giving me a good chuckle

    • Alu Zeros

      Actually, yeah, couple of good concepts but overall epic failure due to lack of ecosystem around it. Especially with features the average consumer wants

    • Chris Martinelli

      “Failing to innovate? Have you even seen the BB 10? Android boy, wake up”

      BB10 is a good OS, but it started 3 years ago with QNX and was already a good OS. It took 3 years to go from “good OS” to an actual phone on the market which we assume in the next few weeks will show up… Rim cant execute, and what good things are in the OS arent “innovation” it was copied from WebOS (the flicky UI) and IOS and Android (other elements).

  • mickey4mice

    Any Chinese company buying RIM is implausible given how integrated BBE
    is to so many government agencies. The Canadian & US will not allow
    the deal to go through, Lenovo at this point is just playing up the harp.

    • RavenFox

      Was about to chime in something similar. To much at risk, it won’t happen.

  • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

    RIM’s secure messaging claims are wasted if owned by a Chinese company.

    Only Samsung can make a RIM acquisition work. Bolt RIM’s messaging and management tools onto Android for “business class Android.”

    Missing Google’s services and the Android app base, RIM’s OS is gone, no matter how good it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

    Didn’t we read a similar story when Palm was ailing? How about HP? ;)

  • Luxferro

    Shouldn’t it read “Blackberry isn’t quite dead, but with Android, and iOS capturing the interests of those looking to buy smartphones…” ?

    I’ve yet to run into anyone that owns a windows phone.

    • CalypsoArt

      Then you are not traveling beyond your comfortable environment. Anyone able to look beyond the fan boi-ism of iPhone and Android can see WP8 is very good and drawing attention. I’ve checked out both the Nokia 920 and HTC 8x, they are great phones. People I know have got them and love them. One gave away their Android (to me) because they found it way to “clunky” compared to WP8.

      More importantly, WP8 phones are showing up as props in films and on TV. (best marketing available) People may not be aware, but that forum has been in the firm control of Apple at least a decade. If you think the seeing the big stars in movies and TV using iPhones wasn’t a huge influence on it’s success, then you’re not paying attention.

      However, the current shift in visibility is especially interesting when you see the change on ABC programs. ABC does not allow product placement in it’s shows. (it’s why there are can be variety brands visible (greeked out) instead of only the ubiquitous iPhone. I saw 3 ABC programs recently where each star was using a WP phone. The brand was greeked out, but the WP8 OS was obvious. That means ABC production departments are choosing WP8 phones to be on camera. It was also interesting that the stars had WP phones but the villains had iPhones. (the flunkies had Android.) Look beyond the partisan blogs my friends.

      When I’m ready to retire my beloved MAXX, I’ll definitely check what’s available in WP. And if Swiftkey is ported, It will make a switch even more possible.

      • Luxferro

        MS can dump as much money they want into advertising, and using celebrities to make it cool. iPhone had the cool factor and all that, and Android is taking them over.

      • ntegrit

        You’re right, I haven’t been paying attention. Nonetheless, here’s what I believe:

        Only smartphone aficionados can distinguish the type of phone being used on a TV or movie screen, and smartphone aficionados prefer Android.

        • CalypsoArt

          “smartphone aficionados” are a tiny part of the market. As for distinguishing the OS, that is not the point, regardless of what we geeks might think.

          The phone is a fashion accessory. And fashionable TV characters influence sales of clothes AND accessories. The clothes they wear in the show appear on the racks, and their cool accessories see a marked spike in demand. Do you think Google’s goal was to only sell to aficionados? Google, MS and Apple are giant behemoths interested getting their products in the hands of the masses. Phone geeks are merely a speck in that market.

          Further, in the shows I saw the WP8 phones, all have female lead characters. They are also have huge ratings with women. Those characters and their look (including accessories) speaks to that segment of the market way more than robots or AI enhancements. Seen the Droid DNA commercial? That is blank screen to most women.

          • ntegrit

            I’ll reframe my statement. I simply don’t believe that someone without a passion for smartphones would be able to identify whether an admired TV/film character is using an iPhone, Android phone or Windows phone.

  • Alain Lafond

    Lenovo buying RIM, why not… But what the protectionist conservative government of Canada will say about this. I doubt that it’s possible.

  • jlschulz098

    Anyone who buys anything from a chinese communist company needs their head examined. If you imagine for one second that the government isnt involved in every aspect of their manufacture and data collection then youre living in a dream world

  • Lactose_the_Intolerant

    Wong Wai… RIM… there is a joke hiding in there somewhere, I just know it !

  • Ben Kapferer

    Here’s a wild suggestion: what if Nintendo buys RIM?

    Nintendo would get an entry into the phone/tablet market (and with their OS to boot), and they could use RIM’s encryption system to make piracy near-impossible.

  • ntegrit

    You say that Samsung has a “vice grip”…? Does that mean a vise grip on prostitution and drugs?

  • Alu Zeros

    Drop every DOD blackberry if that Chinese Commy country does.